Demba Ba's form pleases Newcastle manager Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew was full of praise for Demba Ba after the striker's hat-trick helped Newcastle win 3-1 at Stoke and move to third in the Premier League.

Ba almost signed for Stoke in January 2011, but eventually joined West Ham when the Potters' board decided a knee problem made him too much of a risk.

Newcastle boss Pardew, who signed Ba in June, said: "Demba has played like that all year, he has been brilliant."

The Senegal forward has scored eight goals this season for the Magpies.

Ba signed for Newcastle on a free after leaving West Ham following their relegation at the end of last summer.

His second hat-trick of the season took Newcastle above Chelsea on 22 points and extended their unbeaten start to the league season to 10 games.

Ba, who was booed by Stoke fans during the game, said: "If they want to boo they should boo their board.

"I am very happy to score a hat-trick here because it is a place you come to and struggle."

The result was Stoke's first home defeat of the season and the scoreline means Newcastle retain the league's tightest defence, having conceded only seven goals in 10 games.

Pardew highlighted his side's defensive qualities as one of the main reasons for their victory after they withstood Stoke's aerial barrage.

"The resilience showed a different side to us," he said.

"You don't get to 22 points without showing different sides to your game.

"I have to pay tribute to my players, they stood up to be counted. There were so many set-plays and so many long throws into the box.

"It is about discipline in terms of how we work as a team and defend set-plays. Not many teams are going to come here and win. It is a great performance from us.

"All the big sides have been here and not won so that just shows how good Stoke are. They are a top team and will finish in the top 10."

Newcastle's unbeaten sequence of 13 Premier League matches is their longest top-flight run for more than 61 years.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis admitted he was keen to sign Ba following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League.

"We really fancied Demba for a while but people have to remember we were paying £9m for him with his wages and everything else," he said.

"The medical people at this club are fantastic and they didn't think his knee was a risk we could take at that time. Taking him on a free is a different option and he has certainly done well at West Ham and at Newcastle."

Pulis, whose side play a Europa League tie in Israel on Thursday, added his side's defeat was not helped by bad defending.

"It was disappointing - the goals we conceded were very poor goals," he said. "Newcastle did not play through us, we contributed to the three goals.

"When we get this week out of way will have played 21 games and, in the first 10-15 minutes, one or two players looked a little slow out of the blocks.

"It is the first time we have lost at home and I can honestly say certain things went against us, we have to take it on the chin and dust ourselves down."

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